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Thursday, April 22, 2010

happy bearthday

reprinted from The Washington Park Profile
by Paul Kashmann

Since humans first roamed the land, there have been those who held the gifts bestowed by our natural environment with reverence, while others simply took them for granted, as if earth’s bounty was limitless and immune to harm.
But it was only four decades ago when – concerned that our land, water and sky were under siege by human-borne threats – the environmental movement was born, uniting concerned activists across the globe.

An accurate assessment reveals there are two Earth Days. The United Nations, among others, celebrates the occasion on the March equinox each year; this observance was originally the brain child of peace activist John McConnell in 1969.

But it was April 22, 1970, when Gaylord Nelson, then a senator from the state of Wisconsin, marshalled the energy and passion of college students and environmental activists worldwide to celebrate Earth Day on a grand scale. Or, more accurately, to express concern for the damage being done to Mother Earth by her human inhabitants.

Pollution generated by our national economic machine had afflicted our life-giving natural world. Earth Day 1970 was designed as a teach-in to inform the general public about dangers that the epidemic of oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, hydrocarbon-belching automobiles, out-of-control consumerism and extremes presented to all living creatures.

On April 22, the environmental community near and far will mark the 40th anniversary of that initial celebration. Earth Day 2010 will call attention to the progress that has been made as well as the work yet to be done. Following are some local events taking place this month.

read the rest of this article at The Washington Park Profile

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